Education app of the week: Hopscotch for iPad

Education app of the week: Hopscotch for iPad

With programming in the classroom on the up, our education team have seen schools going coding crazy. And one tool we’ve seen making an impact is Hopscotch, a really intuitive iPad app that teaches the programming basics to young coders.

What is Hopscotch for iPad?

Hopscotch (Hopscotch Technologies, free) is a free iPad app that’s great for helping pupils learn the fundamentals of programming. Using a simple drag and drop method, you move pre-made blocks and objects to build a complete program. This completed script then lets you run animations or simple games. It’s based on the popular visual programming language Scratch, which was created at MIT in 2006 (read more about Scratch here).

Hopscotch for iPad

Hopscotch for iPad

How can it benefit the classroom?

Using a simple interface, Hopscotch will appeal to young coders at every key stage, and give them a taste of the kind of programming skills they might want to take further. With an emphasis on coding and programming in ICT, Hopscotch is an easy way in for both learners and teachers.

What’s the best feature?

The greatest thing about Hopscotch has to be the friendly design and ease of use. Pupils pick from one of a range of cool characters (we can’t choose a favourite between the monkey and the ice cream), and then it’s just a case of dragging and dropping commands into line to create animations and games.

Where can I get it?

Hopscotch (Hopscotch Technologies, free) is available from the App Store on your iPad or from iTunes. Best of all, it’s completely free.

Want to know more about our favourite apps and Apple iPad for the classroom? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333, email, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.


Education app of the week: colAR Mix for iPad

Education app of the week: colAR Mix for iPad

This week’s app, colAR Mix for iPad, allows students to colour in a flat design, then bring it to life using augmented reality on their iPad. We’ve explained just why we love it below, but this really is one app that needs to be seen to be appreciated! 

What is colAR Mix for iPad?

colAR Mix (Puteko Limited, free) is an iPad app that uses augmented reality – computer-generated 3D modelling in real world environments (that’s where the AR in colAR comes from!) – with a difference. Whereas AR has only really had much of a take-up by companies to promote products using 3D visualisations so far, colAR Mix lets you actually engage and get creative with models. Pick one of the pre-drawn 2D templates created by the developer, colour it in either on paper or digitally on your computer screen, then just point the iPad camera at your finished design in the app and colAR Mix wraps your flat design around a 3D wireframe to trigger an animation, complete with your colourful scribblings. Kids will think it’s magic!

colAR Mix for iPad

colAR Mix for iPad

How can it benefit the classroom?

I’ve used colAR Mix with a few different classes now, but one of the best uses is probably to engage pupils in art and design. For example, I used the shoe template to get pupils to design their own trainers then watch as they popped into 3D, which is a great project for key stage 3 Design Technology/Art. Another use could be for digital storytelling. The dragon page is particularly impressive, and could be the basis for coming up with stories for younger pupils.

What’s the most useful feature?

What’s particularly useful for evidencing pupils’ projects is that they can take a screenshot of their 3D design on iPad, then import it into a another app such as iMovie or Educreations to create slide shows, add annotations and more.

Where can I get it?

colAR Mix (Puteko Limited, free) is available for free in iPad’s App Store or via iTunes. Extra page templates are available as an in-app purchase for £1.99.


Want to know more about our favourite apps and Apple iPad for the classroom? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333, email, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.


Our top 5 training courses for making the most of your Macs and iPad

Our top 5 training courses for making the most of your Macs and iPad

Our Apple curriculum training is continuing professional development that’s designed to help you make the most of any Apple devices you have in your school. As well as giving your teachers plenty of confidence with new tech before they have to get up in front of a class, it can help with planning how you’ll use, manage and develop your Mac or iPad deployment, and help get everyone pulling together before you launch a new initiative.

We offer a huge range of courses from foundation iOS and OS X training, to curriculum-based sessions and even vision and planning for your Apple deployment. I’ve picked out my top five below, but take a look at our catalogue to get an idea of how Apple curriculum training could help you. As a fully-accredited Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE), as well as a former teacher, I can come and deliver training onsite at your school at a time that best suits you. There’s no need to go anywhere or call anyone else in – just get in touch with the team!

1. iPad in the classroom

This course helps staff get to grips with the core apps for the iPad and how they can introduce the technology effectively into their learning environment. They’ll be introduced to the basics, such as gestures and personalisation of the devices, along with use of the Camera, Notes, Safari, iTunes U and iBooks apps, as well as accessibility tools like text-to-speech and guided access. All of the training is hands-on and focuses on teaching and learning. The built-in apps that come with the iPad can be utilised to support students and teachers in the classroom, and it’s important that staff realise the potential of these before moving onto third party applications.

Fortunately, third party apps are also included in the course, and you’ll be introduced to incredibly powerful tools such as Educreations, which can help flip the classroom and create anytime, anywhere learning opportunities. Other apps such as Showbie are demonstrated, allowing staff to hand out, collect and mark work electronically (including verbal feedback through audio recording) directly on the iPad.

As an ex-teacher, I’ve found that attending CPD sessions is great but can sometimes be frustrating if you don’t get any time to practice and implement the skills gained in the session. This is why I’ve built in time for participants to plan an activity for their own curriculum during the day. I want all participants to leave the day feeling happy and knowing they have lesson ideas and activities they can implement within their classroom immediately.

Just want half a day training? If you only have the time or resource for half a day’s training, I would suggest iPad for Learning. This three hour introductory course is perfect for any staff new to iPad to get an insight into integrating devices into relevant curriculum activities in a classroom setting. It’s a great overview of app usage and using iPad as a learning tool, allowing staff to see skills in action and learn how to apply them to their own classroom practice.

2. Planning for iPad

Before any institution sets out on a journey, particularly one that could involve huge changes to infrastructure and mindset, it’s vital that they ask the question “why?” By asking that question, school leaders can begin to think about the logistics of a rollout, its impact, and policies that will need to be put in place to ensure the successful adoption of the technology across the school and its community.

To help understand why iOS devices are having a huge impact within schools, colleges and universities across the country, the session begins with case studies and hands-on demonstrations of the uses and features of the device. We examine areas of best practice and look at the SAMR model, which helps schools measure the effective use of technology within the classroom to create dynamic and transformational learning environments.

Within the session, we’ll discuss current plans and pedagogies and examine how we can use the iPad to support staff, students and parents within the school and beyond. It’s also important to think about the impact that this will have on existing plans. Finally, we ensure that at the end of the session a clear plan is formed. This includes how we can communicate all of our ideas, strategies and implementations to staff, pupils and parents clearly as the institution moves forward.

3. Creating documents on iPad

If you’re looking to create presentations for new starters, edit lesson plans/schemes of work and update assessment data on your iPad, then you’re going to need Keynote, Pages and Numbers for iOS. These apps have been created by Apple to be the most intuitive productivity tools on iOS devices, and knowing how to utilise them in the classroom will have a huge impact on your teaching and learning outcomes.

This course is the ultimate boot camp for teachers who want to squeeze the most out of the incredible functionality that comes with each app. Throughout the workshop, you’ll be getting hands-on with these apps to create documents, presentations and spreadsheets so that you can develop an in-depth understanding of what each app can do.

These apps are also incredible teaching and learning tools. We’ll look at lesson ideas to help you integrate them into your curriculum, such as the production of learning journals and digital exercise books. We will also explore the workflow linking them to other apps including the camera, web browser and cloud services. Cloud services are a vital part of this workflow, as they will ensure that all work is saved centrally, accessible by staff and ready to be marked and used for assessment or even peer review. To finish off, we’ll look at workflow and how to import existing Word documents, PowerPoint presentations and Excel spreadsheets straight on to your iPad so that you have all your existing resources right at your fingertips.

4. Sharing lesson resources and courses

With so much information and digital content available through electronic devices, it can be incredibly difficult for a student to know which resources they can trust. As teachers, it is vital that we provide clear guidance and a framework in our lessons, not only to ensure that pupils have access to the right materials but to guarantee that they can continue their own learning journey at a suitable pace. There’s a danger that if we do not provide a clear scaffolding, some pupils may feel left behind while others could feel hindered.

Using iTunes U Course Manager you can avoid these issues, pulling all of your electronic lesson resources together into a single course to ensure every student has a clear understanding of what is expected of them and how they can progress further. By creating this central resource we can give students a logical structure and path, safe in the knowledge they can continue on their learning journey unhindered by distractions and – more importantly – inappropriate content.

In this session, you’ll use the iTunes Course Manager and your existing teaching resources to create an iTunes U course based around your curriculum area. We will explore best practices and view existing courses to gain ideas on implementation of courses within our own classrooms. We will look for other resources that already exist within iTunes U, a huge catalogue of educational content that is constantly being updated by educators around the globe. Resources can include lesson plans, activity documents, iBooks, ePublications, videos, podcasts and web links, all of which can be used within your own courses to support individual learners and their learning styles.

Once the course is ready, we’ll preview it in the iTunes U app and examine how students will access the materials and hand in completed work for assessment and feedback.

5. Creating digital textbooks on Mac

Since the introduction of iBooks on iOS devices, there has been an incredible change in how we interact with written text. As a teacher, I could never have imagined that one day I would have the ability to create a handout for a pupil that included text,  images, video, quizzes, interactive graphics and 3D models. With iBooks Author, this is exactly what we can now achieve, and it’s free for anyone using Mac OS X.

If you’re already thinking that the software to create something like this must be incredibly complex and convoluted, then I’m happy to disappoint you. If you’ve ever created a Word document or produced a presentation then you’ll already be familiar with some of the features of iBooks Author, and by the end of this course you’ll have explored all of the features mentioned, as well as addressing some other important considerations.

We will explore multimedia copyright so that you can be sure that you’re accessing the right resources and have the legal right to distribute (and even edit) them within your iBook. We will also explore the accessibility features in iBooks that will help you ensure any student can access the learning materials you present to them. We’ll create customised glossaries and study cards so that you can show students how to create a personalised learning experience, making notes within the iBook itself and them immediately accessing these and other resources embedded within the app. At the end of the session, you will create an iBook that supports your own curriculum to ensure you have the skills to continue producing materials for your own cohort of students.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Education app of the week: Talk Maths for iPad

Education app of the week: Talk Maths for iPad

Getting pupils to really engage with maths can sometimes be tricky, but our latest app of the week for iPad is a great solution. Talk Maths presents quite difficult mathematical functions in a fun, accessible way, and is suitable for a number of different levels.

What is Talk Maths?

Talk Maths (Pearson Education, £3.99) is an app for iPad that aims to “get children talking about maths and working together to solve problems”. It does this through four different fun games – Number Sums, where pupils have to balance sides of a triangle; the capacity-matching Dominoes; Marble Run, in which pupils must adjust a function machine to make the target number, and Mystery Number – a game where pupils need to find a missing number by using clues to eliminate digits. The app comes in three different education level versions (Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6), and each game also has difficulty ratings, from 1-dot to 4-dot.

How can it benefit the classroom?

Because Talk Maths is developed in the UK, it actually addresses the UK maths curriculum (as opposed to some American apps you might come across in the App Store). This makes it a great tool to use alongside your regular teaching, and also a valuable resource for revision in the lead-up to those all important Year 6 SATs, as you can set independent revision and know your pupils are hitting the curriculum objectives.

Having different difficulty settings means Talk Maths is also perfect for differentiation, as you can tailor the app to both pupils who are looking for an extra challenge, or those who may need a little more support.

What’s the best feature?

Maths wasn’t exactly my favourite subject at school, so I was impressed to see how the games in Talk Maths could present quite ‘dull’ subjects in a fun way. You can see this most strongly in Marble Run. The objective here is to solve calculations and give the correct formula to send a marble round a pipe. It’s a much more colourful and accessible way of learning about equations than just working through an old text book.

Where can I get it?

You can log on to the App Store on your iPad to purchase Talk Maths (Pearson Education, £3.99) Year 4, 5 or 6, or see more over on iTunes.

To find out more about our favourite apps and Apple iPad for the classroom, get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333 or email You can also keep up with all our latest education news and reviews by following @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’-ing our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page.


e7 resources: Implementing Bloom’s Taxonomy with iPad

e7 resources: Implementing Bloom’s Taxonomy with iPad

Over the past year the development of iPad within education has been frenetic and incredibly exciting, thanks in large part to app development and the educators using them. Educational champions across the globe have been blogging and creating a huge bank of resources, and Bloom’s Taxonomy has been highlighted as a key way to map apps to learning objectives.

So what exactly is Bloom’s Taxonomy, and how does it help you get started on your learning journey with iPad? It’s basically a classification of learning objectives put together by a committee chaired by Benjamin Bloom in 1956, designed to help educators communicate and collaborate on education and examinations. It splits learning into distinct areas including remembering, understanding, analysing, evaluating and creating.

Of course, teaching has come on a fair bit since 1956, with the rise of mobile devices and digital media, and this has made it much easier to apply Bloom’s in the classroom. With that in mind, here are a couple of our favourite sites devoted to Bloom’s Taxonomy and iPad:

bloomsapps – A list of the best apps for Bloom’s Taxonomy and iPad in the classroom

They say: “Using Bloom’s Taxonomy in education is a highly effective way to scaffold learning for the students. With the recent popularity and pervasive nature of iOS devices in school districts it is essential for educators to understand how to implement Bloom’s in the classroom using the apps that are available.”

Langwitches – ‘World Language teacher, Technology Integration Facilitator and 21st Century Learning Specialist’ Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano’s hub devoted to developing the modern classroom

Want to know more about implementing iPad in the classroom? Read up on our free 1:1 iPad trial, the e7 Project, here, call 03332 409 333 or email You can also  follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page.
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VPP explained: Educational discounts on iPad apps

VPP explained: Educational discounts on iPad apps

Apple’s Volume Purchase Programme (VPP) is an education-specific service for managing app purchasing and deployment across mobile Apple devices in schools, and getting great discounts on a huge range of apps. Because it’s so simple to use, it’s also a firm favourite with the education team and the tech support guys setting up our 1:1 iPad deployments!

What is VPP?

VPP allows educational institutions to bulk purchase apps from an online store specifically set up for multiple licence purchases. Many app developers are offering up to 50% discount if 20 or more licences are purchased so, for example, you can purchase 20 copies of iMovie for £1.49 each, instead of £2.99.

How does it work?

Institutions simply set up a ‘Programme Manager’ (e.g. heads of IT and heads of finance) who can then create accounts for Programme Facilitators (e.g. heads of department and subject leaders), giving them the right to purchase apps and iBooks for the school (you’ll need to attach a credit or debit card to the Programme Facilitator’s account to make a purchase). Then you can head over to the VPP Education Store to browse through all apps and see which qualify for VPP discount. They should display a little ‘+’ symbol, as in the screen shot below…

Apple have also launched a new method of purchasing VPP codes – ClickandBuy – which makes the whole process even easier. When VPP asks for a credit card number, you just fill in a ClickandBuy number which acts as a customer ID. ClickandBuy works in two ways:

1) Pre-Fund Purchase – ClickandBuy acts as an eWallet, whereby a school sets up a ClickandBuy account and then top up their account either by local bank transfer, wire transfer or credit/debit card.

2) Pay at Time of Purchase – A school sets up a payment method to be debited immediately, which works credit/debit cards or local direct debit.

How can we help?

Our team offer full support for VPP as part of our mobile device management (MDM) service, simplifying the setup and easing technical requirements of any institution. Just get in touch with us on the details below for more info.
Want to find out more about apps and Apple iPad for education? Call us on 03332 409 333 or email To keep up to date with what our e7 team are up to, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page


How do I combine books in Book Creator for iPad?

How do I combine books in Book Creator for iPad?

Preparing for one of my Apple training days at a primary school, I stumbled across the latest update to the Book Creator for iPad app, which allows you to ‘combine’ books. This is especially interesting for education, as it means pupils can create separate chapters of work, then the teacher can combine them all for marking and archiving.

You can also export the Book Creator format if you export via a sharing service such as iFiles, Google Drive or Dropbox. This lets staff edit the pupils’ books, marking their work with any notes and annotations and even recording their voice within the app for verbal feedback before sending it back to the students. All of that turns Book Creator for iPad (Red Jumper, £2.99) into a powerful tool for learning and assessment.

Once you have the most up to date version of Book Creator for iPad, here’s how you can start combining books, according to app developers Red Jumper:

“You can combine two books from the My Books screen. With the book you want to copy into displayed in the center of the screen tap on the + button and chose “Combine Books”. Then chose a book and tap ‘Copy’ to copy all of its pages to the end of your current book.

Please note: you can only combine books which have the same layout i.e. portrait, square or landscape.

Using Combine Books to import a template

“If you have a page layout which you want to reuse then ‘Combine Books’ can help. Just set up the layout in its own book, and then when you’re working on your main book, copy the layout book to your main book using ‘Combine Books’ as many times as required.”

Need any more questions answered on apps and Apple iPad for education? Call us on 03332 409 333 or email To keep up to date with what our e7 team are up to, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page

Make the most of your iPad and Macs with Apple Professional Development training

Make the most of your iPad and Macs with Apple Professional Development training

Don’t let your school’s brand new Apple Mac and iPad equipment just sit there gathering dust – with one of our Apple Professional Development (APD) training courses, you can unlock the real potential of your hardware, and make sure your staff are all up to speed at the same time. We offer a huge range of courses from foundation iOS and OS X training, to curriculum-based sessions and even vision and planning for your Apple deployment. Find out more in the PDF guide below…

Make the most of your Macs and iPad with APD training

Apple APD catalogue

To find out more about Apple for education, call us on 03332 409 333 or email You can also  keep up to date with all our education news by following @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’-ing our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page.